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Scholar’s Voice Faculty Retreats is a professional development experience designed to inspire womxn and nonbinary faculty with the mindset and strategy to take control of their time by centering their writing and publishing.

Episode #88

It’s a Pipeline, Not a Funnel!

If you want to publish more, you should take on more projects, right? Wrong! You need a publication pipeline, not a funnel.


I’m getting up on my soapbox to tell you why your publications need to be in a pipeline, not a funnel! Building a publication plan from a place of fear leads you to take on every possible project, say yes to all opportunities, and focus on numbers rather than your academic mission. Friends, this approach will backfire. Let’s dig into the metaphors of pipeline and funnel, and how to approach your publishing plan to reach your goals.

Funnel vs. Pipeline: What’s the Difference?

Picture a pipeline: the contents flow smoothly, and what goes in comes out the other side at the same volume it entered. 

Now picture a funnel: a whole bunch of something put in the top trickles slowly out the bottom. You might dump more and more into the top, but it still trickles out the bottom at that slow rate.

Using this metaphor, you can see that taking on more and more projects for publication does not, in fact, result in more published work! If you are (understandably) acting from a place of fear, and taking on all the possible projects that enter your sphere, you will create a funnel, not a pipeline. 

“If you take on more projects you will have fewer publications.” -Cathy Mazak

What’s the Solution?

“You must curate your pipeline.” -Cathy Mazak

The answer is careful curation of the projects you choose to put into your pipeline. Your publications are telling the story of who you are as a scholar, to the world and to your tenure committee. What story do you want to tell? You need to be selective, choosing projects that support your academic mission. If you take this approach, you can intentionally oversee your pipeline, and what stage each project is in. The projects you put in will flow smoothly out the other side. Please believe me when I tell you that this approach will not only solidify your academic brand, but result in more publications. 

“Create your publication pipeline from a place of confidence.” -Cathy Mazak

Want to learn more? 

We teach you all about pipeline management in our Amplify: Faculty Accelerator program for pre-tenure/early career academics. We want to set you up with a solid foundation to help you grow as a scholar and launch into your future. In our 6 month Amplify program, we use a combination of coaching, training and community to give you the tools you need to go up for tenure with confidence.

Enrollment is open now, so head to and complete our short application. 2021 cohorts will be running September through February, but once you’re approved, you’ll get access to our first event, an invite-only training in August to give you a taste of what the program is like. Don’t wait, spots are filling fast! Click here to apply.

Is your writing project languishing, mired in the messy middle, or stuck on revise and resubmit? Grab my Writing Sprint Blueprint, a powerful productivity tool to help stalled out publications get out of your pipeline and into the world. As a bonus, you’ll also gain access to my private podcast feed “Stick to the Plan”, a 10 episode series of short, inspirational messages to keep you going. Click here to get the Writing Sprint Blueprint and “Stick to the Plan” podcast series for just $27!


Connect with me:

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Follow me on Clubhouse: @cathymazak 


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